Ceilidh Day at Whitehead Railway Museum

It will be Ceilidh time at Whitehead Railway Museum on Saturday August 12 when a team from Belfast Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society will be putting on a special display. 

The feet will be tapping and the kilts will be flying as the dancers demonstrate the joy of Scottish Country Dancing for fun, fitness and friendship. 

The RSCDS will be accompanied by the Alastair Scott Ceilidh Band and a team of dancers will be entertaining visitors on the station platform. The event is being supported by the Ulster-Scots Agency.  

And the music will be accompanied by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s steam train rides which will be operating a short trip every half hour between 11am and 3pm. 

To tie in with the railway theme, one of the dances the Scottish country dancers will be featuring is called “The Flying Scotsman”, named after the celebrated 100-year-old steam engine. Visitors will be able to see the patterns in the dance of an engine and coaches being shunted.

The Society visited Whitehead last year to record a performance of “The Flying Scotsman” which was included in a commemorative video to mark the Society’s centenary.

The dancers will be happy to demonstrate some simple ceilidh dances and visitors will be able to learn more about local Scottish country dancing classes too.

Linda Harley, chair of the Belfast Branch of RSCDS, said they were delighted to link in with the RPSI again and were looking forward to the opportunity to let the public find out more about Scottish Country Dancing and the fun it brings.

“Scottish country dancing is great exercise and helps keep us fit as well as enjoying the company of like-minded people,” she said.  “Once you try it you may well be ‘bitten by the bug’.  We would be delighted to welcome beginners and all ages of new members to our classes across the region.

“We are grateful to the Ulster-Scots Agency for coming in with sponsorship towards our costs in putting on this special demonstration event.”

Lisa Adair, general manager of the RPSI, said: “Ceilidh dancing has widespread appeal and we are looking forward to the visit by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

“Maybe the beat of the steam engine will help keep everyone in time to the music. It promises to be an entertaining afternoon with good company and great music.”

A special offer is available at Whitehead Railway Museum on August 12 – with a £10 ticket covering the ceilidh demonstration, a steam train ride, and a visit to the railway museum.

The RPSI’s Platform 3 Café will be open throughout the day, serving refreshments from morning coffee and lunches to afternoon tea.

To book your ticket from Belfast Welcome Centre, visit the centre or follow this link: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com/whats-on/43/steam-whitehead